Friday, April 01, 2011

If the morels won't come to you, go to the morels.

Well you know how it is. Sometimes the fever just gets a hold of you and you can't shake it. The recent cold spell had put a damper on anything in Mid-MO having started up and going out ans scouting the usual places for dead and dying trees just wasn't too feasible since most of the trees weren't even budding yet. I just had to get out. Job stress was becoming too much when combined with cabin and morel fever, that a good walk in the woods was the only way to go.
With the taste of Camoshroomers morels in my mouth from eating them all week, I just had to have some more. So I decided to follow the advice on one of those recent Bass Pro commercials and trade in a few work days for some camping. I could go it alone, but I decided to see who I could get. Now Camo having been back from Georgia and with a whole mess of them his fridge, I fi.gured he was a long shot, but I texted him asking if he could get off work Thursday and Friday.
His first response was why. When I said I wanted to head south to hunt, within minutes I got my response, let me check followed not one minute later by I'm a go. So we were on.
The only thing now was to decide where to go. Things are moving a little slow like a usual year and so we were looking at going way down to southern Missouri or northern Arkansas, two places that I have had little luck (if anyone from those areas wants to teach me how to hunt those areas next March, let me know and I'll gladly pay you back in April and teach you the MO river bottom tricks).

I got a tip from several of the crew who had been slowly trickling down to parts of Oklahoma all week that some areas were picking up. Not the tens of pouns that those guys are usually hauling but a few pounds here and there. Camoshroomer and I debated, we could take our chances picking small grays in MO or head a few more hours south to find some nice yellows.

So we hit the road. We met up with the gang on Thursday, just as they were packing up. Some were headed home for various reasons. Others were moving camp after getting some tips and looking at topo maps to try for other spots that might really be popping, we headed out. We drove 50 minutes to an area that was all oak and pine. No dice for morels there. That is a problem with trying to scope out stuff online from google earth, you can see the trees are there but until you go and look, it is hard to judge what kinds they are.

After skunking out we moved to another potential spot but it being late, we just found a camp and planned for in the morning. We checked out several spots that morning but had no luck so we left the group who was heading north towards home and headed back to where we had first met everyone. We quickly started walking some woods and soon enough we were on to them.

Only really got to hunt that afternoon, but we did OK. We came out with a good 3 1/2/ pounds. The next morning on the way back home we stopped and checked a spot in Muskogee that looked good from the highway. It looked like the area had been picked clean, but Camo still maned to find about a half pound in an hour. Overall, we didn't hit it super big , but it was a great time and it was nice to have some freshies in the fridge.

On the way home we heard reports of finds in Springfield from some fellow hunters. The Missouri reports are starting to roll in, so no more need for road trips, for now.

Here is the first morel I found for 2011. It wasn't a big one, but it sure was a beauty to see.

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